Plastiki Goes Pacific for Recycling Awareness

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In a rather unusual attempt to spread awareness about the environment, Plastiki, the world’s first boat made entirely of plastic bottles, set sail from San Francisco this past Saturday morning on an 11,000-nautical-mile trek to Sydney in order to raise awareness about the world’s waste problem.

Environmentalist and banking heir David De Rothschild, whom we interviewed about a year ago for the March/April edition issue of Haute Living San Francisco, and a crew from his organization, Adventure Ecology, are particularly adamant about the issue of recycling and firmly believe more of it should be done. According to the U.N., four out of five plastic bottles end up in a landfill due to people’s decisions to throw away as opposed to recycling.

“It is time we beat waste and this is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind issue that needs to be addressed,” De Rothschild told the BBC earlier this month.

Plastiki will pass the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a literal sea of waste that measures about five times the size of the UK. This isn’t De Rothschild’s first expedition, however; the 31-year-old has already completed various expeditions to the poles and various jungles prior to Plastiki’s maiden voyage.

Plastiki was made rather ingeniously, with thousands of used plastic soda bottles held together with carbon dioxide to give it buoyancy and durability. Wind, solar, and sea turbines power the vessel. An exercise bike powers the boat’s laptops, and also features composting bathrooms and gardens to grow food.

One of Plastiki’s other inspirations is the Kon-Tiki expedition, a trip across the Pacific initiated in 1947 by Thor Heyerdahl with a reproduction of an Incan raft. Going above and beyond the aforementioned inspiration, Heyerdahl’s grandson, Olav, is one of the six crew members onboard the Plastiki right now.

Hey, you can’t say De Rothschild doesn’t think out of the box. Way to drive the point home, David.

Follow along on the adventure with the team on De Rothschild’s Twitter page, or on their blog.

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